Account and xp bound


Pathfinder Online

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Here I'm again. Maybe im bringing back a topic that's been already solved, but once again, I found myself lost in a huge ammount of info.

I like the xp model that goblinworks is going to use in PFO but, i don't see the need to pay xp points per character. If I got the thing clear, you'll be paying a month subscription just to gain xp for one character? Wouldn't be better to lock the xp gain to an account and let the players decide in which character spend those points?

Also, what would be the limit of characters per account?

Goblin Squad Member

As I understand it there is a max amount of XP that you can apply monthly to a single character and this is the amount you will get for a monthly sub.
However you are free to divide that amoount of xp over more then 1 character. And you can also buy MORE xp (more subs or through a microtransaction) and divide that amongst your characters, up to the monthly max that can be applied to each character.

So let us say 1 month of subscription (15 dollars) buys me 1000xp: I can then apply all this xp to a single character (who is then maxed out for that month) or apply 700 to 1 character and 300 to another.

I could then buy extra xp and divide that amongs those two character (up to the 1000 max per char)or any other characters on the account.

I hope I have this right.

I am not so sure if the following applies: when you apply less then a characters monthly max of xp to that character in a certain month then you can not "repair" that deficit the next month by applying more xp then the monthly max.

I am pretty sure it does, but since "bought xp" is not quit the same as "applied xp" players may encounter the situation where they have bought 1000xp but were not able to apply it to their characters because they were not able to unlock enough achievement/goals. Especially during EE when the game is still barebone this may be a problem. Unless there are always enough abilities/skills where you can sink xp into without having to meet certain goals. I guess the latter will be the case.


That sound reasonable to me Tyncale. Thanks. Mmm... Should I then suspect that its not going to be a character limit per account?

Goblin Squad Member

Btw, I did add a bit to my post.

About the characterlimit: I think they will limit it but mostly to avoid people having 50 characters on a single account just because they want to try out stuff. Or maybe make it a bit more difficult to create a 100 characters that you can log into the world as (gimped) scouts(since you can log on several characters from the same account simultaneously as long as your computer manages the extra clients running).

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Tyncale wrote:

Btw, I did add a bit to my post.

About the characterlimit: I think they will limit it but mostly to avoid people having 50 characters on a single account just because they want to try out stuff. Or maybe make it a bit more difficult to create a 100 characters that you can log into the world as (gimped) scouts(since you can log on several characters from the same account simultaneously as long as your computer manages the extra clients running).

Besides all of that, there is no true 'infinite' in a closed system. Someone could make a bot to just keep creating characters for the sole purpose of claiming as many names as possible in order to sell them later. Now the servers are storing loads of useless characters which will never be played, the name-squatters are also keeping decent players from playing as intended.

Apart from capping the character count for storage reasons, I also think that a character's claim to use a name should depend on how long it's been since they spent any XP training the character, so unpaid dummy characters can't do much name-squatting. When the character is first created, you've got claim to the name for a few hours. Once you've spent some XP, your claim extends to a few months after the most recent XP expenditure. There could be further thresholds, so the more total XP that character has spent, the longer their name-claim lasts after each refresh.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm under the impression that the xp bought with time is not "one character" bound.

Let us assume for the sake of argument that 1 month = 500 xp

I have three characters:

1. Main
2. Destiny's Twin
3. Alt

If I spend 400 xp on my Main, my DT also has 400 xp allocated to it as well.

This leaves the remained to be spent on the Alt (100 xp). However, with the DT you can see the opportunity cost is doubled when spending xp on alts.

To avoid Keovar's suggestion that alts must have xp spent on a regular basis, to reserve them, someone would just spend a minimal amount on alts to meet that requirement.

I believe there are just too many benefits for having alts, that whatever the costs are, some will pay it.

Personally, I could not see having 6 accounts, 18 characters and paying approximately $60 - $90 per month. In EVE I do know players that do.

Goblin Squad Member

I recommend checking out Kickstarter Community Thread: Subscriptions & Microtransactions.

In particular:

You will be able to have more than one character training on an account. You will pay for all the training you get. So you will be able to pay 2x the monthly subscription cost and have 2 characters training in parallel. Or you can get parallel training using training time purchased direct from the cash store, or acquired on the in-game market for Coin. There is no practical limit to how many characters you'll be able to train in parallel.

When you buy Training Time (via a subscription or from the Cash Shop) it's like powering an electrical outlet for a fixed period of time. You can only plug one thing into that outlet at a time, but you can swap things out however you want.

If you buy more Training Time, it's like turning on another electrical outlet. You can't plug the same thing into two outlets, but you can swap things around however you want.

Goblin Squad Member

I don't think the devs have ever said anything about an upper limit on characters per account; the fact that they want to make having all your characters on one account just as good as having them on multiple accounts suggests that they won't put a cap unless the cap is very large.

Goblin Squad Member

I think if there is a cap on characters per account, it will be because of technical reasons and not for policy reasons. I expect any technical limit would be more characters than I'm likely to have and I'm quite the altaholic, usually.

Goblinworks Game Designer

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Our model is 100 XP per hour, not a value per month. So you're not going to get a giant bag of XP and allocate it across characters for the month. As Nihimon describes, you'll be able to set a character to "earning XP" and if you switch that to another character on your account, the first one will stop getting XP and the second will start.

So if you let one character run for a week, he'll have 16,800 by the end of the week, and then you switch to another for two days before switching back. The alt got 4,800 XP while he was training, and the first resumes at 16,800 when you restore him as the XP earner. At the end of a month, all characters will stop earning XP if you haven't paid for another month/subscribed.

(All time expressions are for example only, as we don't know yet the exact mechanism by which you'll choose to change which character is earning and how frequently you can do it. 100 XP per hour is also what we're thinking now, but may change at some point. :) )

Goblin Squad Member

So if you buy a month then all your alts are subscribed and can log in but only one of them receives xp at a time? If you don't buy a month then nobody can log in?

Goblinworks Game Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Characters earning XP will be able to log in. When characters not earning XP will be able to log in is uncertain at this time (at least to me; Ryan probably has a plan ;) ).

Goblin Squad Member

It basically equals out to you paying one subscription per character but with more flexibility.

Does this mean the destiny's twin ability will give xp to both characters for the price of one subscription? If not, how is it better than just purchasing a second account for a second character so that characters on both accounts can gain xp at the same time?

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Ravenlute wrote:

It basically equals out to you paying one subscription per character but with more flexibility.

Does this mean the destiny's twin ability will give xp to both characters for the price of one subscription? If not, how is it better than just purchasing a second account for a second character so that characters on both accounts can gain xp at the same time?

If your Main--as defined as the character tied to the Destiny's Twin--is gaining XP, so is your Destiny's Twin. If the Main is not, neither is the Destiny's Twin.


Stephen Cheney wrote:
Characters earning XP will be able to log in. When characters not earning XP will be able to log in is uncertain at this time (at least to me; Ryan probably has a plan ;) ).

While this won't actually affect me as I already plan on having characters on different accounts I would suggest that if you wish to restrict logons of non paid characters you do it by account.

That is to say if you have a paid up character on the account you can log on and play any other character even if its not gaining xp. I suggest this because many might have gathering characters or rp alts neither of which actually needs more xp as they have all the skills they will ever need. It would be a hindrance to not be able to log them on without pausing xp on your main and starting to gain it on a character that has no use for it.

Goblin Squad Member

Some how I don't think that is true. Pretty sure those alts will need some exp.

If fighters get achievement badges for successful PvP. Then it stands to reason that there will be achievements badges for any skill set be that a harvester, Miner, lumberman, teamster, armorer, can get that make them better at what they do, and exp will be needed to advance to the next tier.

Unless you just want the most basic skill set? I guess if people do then others that specialize will be the most effective. I was picturing a system where settlement managers would do best if they had harvesting skills related to their outpost. As well as other skill trees, but that's just speculation since nothing says a POI will have two outpost with the same resource.

Goblin Squad Member

I believe what steelwing is saying is if your alt has gained "enough" exp to fit your need of that alt there isn't any other reason for that alt to gain any exp if it's just for RP or crafting, etc.

Goblin Squad Member

I guess I am somehow unable to think of any apt not needing any further exp. I hope it will take a long time to dead end a skill tree, and even if you have maxed out say lumberjack you could start in on another harvesting tree say adding in alchemy tree, or just an ability to spot other resources that could be reported to the settlement.

Goblin Squad Member

not saying that PO is going to have anything like this but.... in Eve for jump ships you needed a character to place an anchor of sorts in space, this character was often referred to as a cyno alt. cyno alts only had enough exp to get them in a basic ship with the ability to drop the anchor and that's all they were used for. the character sat in a station offline till someone in the corp needed an anchor, so no need for training after that.

IF something like that existed in PO i'm sure you'd see people with alts that had no other purpose but to be an anchor.

but on the side of PO i agree with you Vwoom i think if i started a character i would always find something else to train on it.

Goblin Squad Member

I would be happy to see some restriction on proliferation of alts. Particularly ‘disposable alts’.

In PFO I will likely want and use alts. In EVE I certainly did for activities such as scouting, neutral hauling, working the market, etc.

Some games currently in development that I’m aware of have made a design decision to either prevent alts (unless another full copy of the game is purchased) or an alt character in the add-on store is purchased.

Their reasoning seems to be that:

- Alts are associated with a lot of undesirable conduct in MMOs, such as scamming, gold selling, spamming local, etc.
- A lot of MMOs designers claim they want actions to have consequences, whether reputational or otherwise. If a misbehaving character has been designed to be disposable, then there is no meaningful consequence to misconduct.
- Alts weaken game immersion. Immersion is likely to be greatest where most characters interacting are established, care about their reputation, and have a meaningful place in the world. If a player finds they are interacting with characters a few weeks old, and/or with lazy character names, and obviously an alt then credibility is lessened.
- Alts are more likely to have silly or lazy names, eg “hauler03”, than primary characters.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Pax Shane Gifford wrote:
I don't think the devs have ever said anything about an upper limit on characters per account; the fact that they want to make having all your characters on one account just as good as having them on multiple accounts suggests that they won't put a cap unless the cap is very large.

They don't have to state a limit. There's no infinity in a closed system. Seriusly consider the implications of an account which is allowed to keep making characters infinitely. That data has to be stored somewhere, and even if it is tiny, it will still take up storage space. Something will fail, eventually, but GW would be better off capping it well short of that point. I'd be in favour of an account having a smallish number of slots to start, with ways to earn or buy more slots later.


I totally agree with Kelpie 3 or 4 characters are enough to really enjoy any MMO, lets not have 1 day chars around, it will ruin the experience.

Goblin Squad Member

I think 5 character slots are enough to start with, with an option to buy more slots in the MTX store.

5 Character slots is enough to try each of the basic arch types + one for whatever (DT, multi-class, harvesting / crafting alt, etc.)

More than that and GW will encourage naked, throw away alts in large numbers. I have nothing against throw aways but they should have a cost to them.

Goblin Squad Member

Well that leaves little room for nekkid gnome races.

Goblin Squad Member

Vwoom wrote:
Well that leaves little room for nekkid gnome races.

I can see it now. Nekkid Gnomes riding their Nekkid Mole Rats.

Goblin Squad Member

Pax Keovar wrote:
They don't have to state a limit. There's no infinity in a closed system. Seriusly consider the implications of an account which is allowed to keep making characters infinitely. That data has to be stored somewhere, and even if it is tiny, it will still take up storage space. Something will fail, eventually, but GW would be better off capping it well short of that point. I'd be in favour of an account having a smallish number of slots to start, with ways to earn or buy more slots later.

Consider the implications of an infinite number of accounts which make 5 characters each. I don't think simply putting a hard cap on the number of characters per account solves anything if people can just make another account.

Goblin Squad Member

Stephen Cheney wrote:
Characters earning XP will be able to log in. When characters not earning XP will be able to log in is uncertain at this time (at least to me; Ryan probably has a plan ;) ).

I would hope that characters that have had XP spent on them can log in, even if they are currently not training.

Thus I think would solve some of the problem with naked newb throw always, but still cater to the players using support alts for their main / DT characters.

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:
Stephen Cheney wrote:
Characters earning XP will be able to log in. When characters not earning XP will be able to log in is uncertain at this time (at least to me; Ryan probably has a plan ;) ).

I would hope that characters that have had XP spent on them can log in, even if they are currently not training.

Thus I think would solve some of the problem with naked newb throw always, but still cater to the players using support alts for their main / DT characters.

Naked noobs with only 1 hour of training time?


It's been said that players would be able to buy xp via in-game coin, so I suspect that the guys at Goblinworks are thinking a formula to let you in even if you're not currently in a subscription period. So i'm guessing that characters that are not training might have a chance to go in.

Goblin Squad Member

Pax Shane Gifford wrote:
Naked noobs with only 1 hour of training time?

better than nothing

Goblin Squad Member

Pax Shane Gifford wrote:
Bluddwolf wrote:
Stephen Cheney wrote:
Characters earning XP will be able to log in. When characters not earning XP will be able to log in is uncertain at this time (at least to me; Ryan probably has a plan ;) ).

I would hope that characters that have had XP spent on them can log in, even if they are currently not training.

Thus I think would solve some of the problem with naked newb throw always, but still cater to the players using support alts for their main / DT characters.

Naked noobs with only 1 hour of training time?

I like the idea of the number of playable characters being linked to the amount and distribution of paid subscription time. Certainly don't mind if that is 1 for 1. There are some advantages to this for GW: more subscriptions, less "low investment" mischief squads, channeling players into dividing their skill purchases to do ALL that they want in-game, etc...

Yous buys yer time. Yous divides it up how you like. Yous can only plays yer toon when it is earning exp.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:
Stephen Cheney wrote:
Characters earning XP will be able to log in. When characters not earning XP will be able to log in is uncertain at this time (at least to me; Ryan probably has a plan ;) ).

I would hope that characters that have had XP spent on them can log in, even if they are currently not training.

Thus I think would solve some of the problem with naked newb throw always, but still cater to the players using support alts for their main / DT characters.

This would also enable us to play the role of extras, as suggested in the linked thread.

Goblin Squad Member

Deianira wrote:
Bluddwolf wrote:
Stephen Cheney wrote:
Characters earning XP will be able to log in. When characters not earning XP will be able to log in is uncertain at this time (at least to me; Ryan probably has a plan ;) ).

I would hope that characters that have had XP spent on them can log in, even if they are currently not training.

Thus I think would solve some of the problem with naked newb throw always, but still cater to the players using support alts for their main / DT characters.

This would also enable us to play the role of extras, as suggested in the linked thread.

I do think that there should be something about that. How do you keep FTP toons from being the "go to" for mischief of all sorts? That is a problem that I see with FTP.

Like hope sucking vampires, humans will do everything that they can to gain advantage. Even if it destroys the intended "game experience" of the Developing company.

Goblin Squad Member

I really hope we have the option for a few alts that we have to spend a minimum of XP on. There are certainly a huge number of ways to run this process but I think GW will work it out where it benefits all while not detracting from immersion.

CEO, Goblinworks

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I'm less concerned about the account that has lots of characters and a steady payment history being able to access any low skill characters as I am with the account with one character with a small number of XP being able to play forever "for free". We will have to experiment with criteria for when a given account can no longer be used "for free".

There is a concern with allowing a single account to create and log in ridiculous numbers of characters at the same time, and we'll probably need some limit on how many simultaneous logins we permit per account but that is less of a business consideration and more of an aesthetic/resource consideration.

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:

I'm less concerned about the account that has lots of characters and a steady payment history being able to access any low skill characters as I am with the account with one character with a small number of XP being able to play forever "for free". We will have to experiment with criteria for when a given account can no longer be used "for free".

There is a concern with allowing a single account to create and log in ridiculous numbers of characters at the same time, and we'll probably need some limit on how many simultaneous logins we permit per account but that is less of a business consideration and more of an aesthetic/resource consideration.

Thanks Ryan, I'm sure you will work out a good balance. I look forward to see what you produce.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Pax Shane Gifford wrote:
Consider the implications of an infinite number of accounts which make 5 characters each. I don't think simply putting a hard cap on the number of characters per account solves anything if people can just make another account.

If each account needs to be tied to a different email address, that would slow them down, at least.

Goblin Squad Member

Pax Keovar wrote:
Pax Shane Gifford wrote:
Consider the implications of an infinite number of accounts which make 5 characters each. I don't think simply putting a hard cap on the number of characters per account solves anything if people can just make another account.
If each account needs to be tied to a different email address, that would slow them down, at least.

Email accounts are free, all you need is to keep track of them and their passwords. Slows me down by mere seconds, the time it takes to open my MS Word where I have all of that info placed.

Goblin Squad Member

I have four email accounts and that is not even by choose. I could add ten more in five minutes.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

It would still add steps to the process, but for a while GW will be scaling the number of new accounts they allow, so if there were a flood of new accounts that never get played but are just there to bog down the system while name-squatting, they could delete the oldest unplayed account when a new player tries to open one.

Goblin Squad Member

I can see having the ability to have 5 characters per account leading to trouble. If there is also the potential for accounts to be essentially free to play if no character is in training the problem is compounded.

As an illustration of the type of thing that could happen, here’s a description of how I spent much of my last year in EVE before I got bored and quit. Everything I did was entirely legitimate. I paid for my accounts by annual subscription, thought it became clear I could have played for free.

I had 2 accounts with 3 characters on each. On each account I had a main character, which was used for combat. However these two characters as well as every other character in the two accounts had optimised skills in a particular area of T2 production, and every other point on the manufacturing tree leading to the end product. I would buy raw moon materials, minerals, and some planetary components in bulk from Jita or wherever was cheapest. I always had 60 factory jobs running in parallel + the necessary BPC copying and invention jobs to support the enterprise. Each month I made several billion ISK, with little effort and little risk.

It was an intellectual challenge to learn how to do this optimally and organise my workflow, but rapidly became boring afterwards.

Now if I had had 5 characters per account rather than 3, and if my accounts became free to play once my characters were trained, then I could have made vastly more income, and with other players doing the same would probably destabilise the whole New Eden economy with little benefit to other players or CCP.

It won’t solely be experienced PVPers that come to PFO from EVE. Experienced scam artists, market manipulators and industrialists will be able to take advantage of alts to play the game for optimum advantage (or cause maximum trouble, depending on your perspective).

If I have a lot of characters I can become more self sufficient. This reduces interaction and has a tendency to become boring.

Since PFO will be a young game with limited number of players and immature economy, these types of tactics could be damaging. For instance one account, making maximum use of alts, might consume all available manufacturing slots in a town. In EVE with two characters I would personally use all slots on a station, and book them weeks solid. If there were another corp in the area I wanted to drive away I could switch my manufacturing to a product with a slightly longer build time, and prevent anyone else using facilities in the system for close to a month.

Goblin Squad Member

I'm going to refer to Wurm Online again here.

They have a skill system that ranks up to 100. The game is available as F2P. You create a character, take a short trip through the tutorial and get dropped right into the game. You can play F2P forever if you wanted to but most don't because there is a cap of rank 20 for all F2P characters. If you want to get higher than 20 you need to purchase premium time for that character. Not the account, the character.

Like PFO, you have the potential to max out all skills in Wurm. But even with that many folks like to have at least one alt so they can dual-box.

The majority of players in Wurm purchase premium because they get into the game, find they enjoy it and then don't want to get stuck with basics. Wurm F2P is not like a typical level lock that keeps you from wearing gear or getting into dungeons. You can still go anywhere and have adventures out in the world but you won't be as effective and that tends to be some pretty good incentive for getting premium.

As a side note, for those worried about not used characters cluttering the system: Any F2P character that doesn't log in for 3 months is deleted.

So one of my suggestions for PFO is to allow characters to log in and play, even if they haven't paid for a subscription. They just won't be gaining xp or anything that would count toward them advancing past a certain point. It would keep the player of that character interested in the game and more likely to encourage them to pay for a subscription later on.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Kelpie: How would the potential economic effect change if the system of reservations was by auction; whenever a -unit- finishes production, production proceeds to the job order that offers the highest payment per unit time?

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Being that you buy training time with in game currency, you need some way to earn it and spend it. If I am deployed for 3 months and have no sub running, I need a way to earn some coin and spend it to get XP coming in. If I can't log in, then my account is pretty much lost unless I spend cash. That I think is a no go. There needs to be a way around that.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Vwoom wrote:
I have four email accounts and that is not even by choose. I could add ten more in five minutes.

If you own your own domain like I do, you have an infinite number at your fingertips.

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
Kelpie: How would the potential economic effect change if the system of reservations was by auction; whenever a -unit- finishes production, production proceeds to the job order that offers the highest payment per unit time?

I think changing to an auction mode would hinder casual industrialists and have little effect on 'professional' industrial corporations. It would increase the amount of ISK spent on renting factory slots and so increase the (minor) ISK sink (which is beneficial to the economy in helping limit inflation).

In the queue system a beginner or casual industrialist will get a shot at manufacturing, even if it takes a while. Experienced industrialists will tend to manufacture higher value products with longer manufacturing times, so they are at an advantage in the queue system.

In an auction system the casual industrialist is at a distinct disadvantage and may well never get a shot at manufacturing. Say I'm running 60 manufacturing jobs in parallel and I know (from my extensive set of spreadsheets) that I will get 25 million ISK profit per job. I then also know I can easily afford to pay 1 million isk per factory slot rental. 1 million isk is many times more than rent would normally cost, and far more than a beginner industrialist can afford to spend. The value of small T1 ships that a beginner might make is << 1 million, never mind the profit.

Goblin Squad Member

Amari wrote:
Being that you buy training time with in game currency, you need some way to earn it and spend it. If I am deployed for 3 months and have no sub running, I need a way to earn some coin and spend it to get XP coming in. If I can't log in, then my account is pretty much lost unless I spend cash. That I think is a no go. There needs to be a way around that.

This is definitely a valid point. One point that was talked about in length by Ryan in the past is how the PLEX system of payment would allow GW to cater to people who value their play time across the spectrum. That is, the player who pays a monthly sub plus buy a whole bunch of MTX items and the player who is willing to spend more time in-game to earn his monthly sub via in-game cash are both accommodated. This is definitely a big advantage of the payment systems that GW is going for.

However, many of the possible solutions we're thinking of to prevent abuses of free or non-paying accounts could affect this symbiotic relationship of the payers and the hardcore players. Need to keep in mind not to cut out people who don't want to pay for a sub, and are willing to spend more time in-game to get someone else to pay for it.

Goblin Squad Member

One great way to avoid abuse of F2P accounts such as gold-spamming is to simply have volunteer player chat mods. It does wonders for a game. They keep the chat channels civil and can mute spammers or other trouble makers and send notice to a GM who can take corrective action as needed. They also tend to be experienced players who can offer help when people have questions about how something in the game works.

Goblin Squad Member

It's always seemed to me that if players have so much extra gold that they can use it on out of game stuff then something is wrong with the games economy.

Maybe "wrong" is too strong of a word. I'd just prefer a system where a gold piece is a lot of money. When people can buy gold with real money via a Plex system, prices on in-game goods have nothing to limit them.

Edit: and I realized this has gone off topic. I apologize.

Goblin Squad Member

Ravenlute wrote:
One great way to avoid abuse of F2P accounts such as gold-spamming is to simply have volunteer player chat mods. It does wonders for a game. They keep the chat channels civil and can mute spammers or other trouble makers and send notice to a GM who can take corrective action as needed. They also tend to be experienced players who can offer help when people have questions about how something in the game works.

In most MMOs I have played, you can as an individual /ignore any user you wish in the chat channel. This is both a personal ability and a personal choice.

I would be wary of any player being the decider for others, what they can see and can't see in a chat channel.

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